Hike Cutthroat Pass from Rainy Pass Trailhead

Rate this Adventure Washington Rainy Pass Trailhead

Added by John Maurizi

Breathtaking views along a the Pacific Crest Trail! 

This hike begins at the parking area across from the Rainy Pass Trail Head. It is on the north side of Route 20. There is a larger parking area a little further down Route 20. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is 2600 miles long and links the borders of Canada and Mexico as it travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. This hike is 5 miles of the PCT up to Cutthroat Pass and back to the trail head. The first 2.3 miles of this hike is through beautiful thick forest. The hike also slows down 1 mile in with many recent (summer 2016) downed trees blown over by a micro burst storm. Easily climbed over or under. Hopefully the park service will have these cleared out soon.

After 2.3 miles, the forest recedes and the landscape opens up for amazing views all around. The trail climbs steadily but rather easy. After 4 miles you will encounter several switchbacks that make the grade easier. I encountered snow on the trail at this point (mid-July) but it was well packed and easy to walked over.

The final mile was one of the best hiking experiences I've had. The open landscape with clear blue sky and rugged peaks were breathtaking. Finally you arrive at the pass, an altitude of 6800 feet. Here you can look down on Cutthroat Lake and across to the Methow Valley. You can continue along the PCT for a bit more (I wish now that I did) or return the way you came after a rest. On the way down you have great views of Cutthroat Peak on the right.

This was the easiest and most enjoyable 10 mile hikes I've ever completed. It took me a little over 4 hours much of which was spent taking photos. 

Pack List

  • Insect repellent
  • trekking poles 
  • sturdy hiking boots
  • sun protection 
  • Water/food
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

10 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2000 Feet

Features:

Scenic

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Added by John Maurizi

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